4 Business Lessons From the Legendary John Wooden
These quotes and life stories come from UCLA Basketball coach John Wooden and his book “Wooden: A Lifetime of Observations and Reflections”. Also the premise of this article comes from writer Eric M. Ruiz. At the beginning of each season around the first practice or so, Wooden would sit all the players down and specifically show them how to put their socks on correctly.
“Carefully roll the socks down to the toes, ball of the foot, arch and around the heel, then pull the sock up snug so there will be no wrinkles of any kind.”
After each player had put on one sock he would make sure they put on the second one with the same level of detail and focus. After both socks were on, Wooden made the players carefully inspect their feet and make sure there were no wrinkles or creases anywhere on their socks.
“Wrinkles, folds and creases can cause blisters. Blisters interfere with performance during practice and games. Since there was a way to reduce blisters, something the player and I could control, it was our responsibility to do it. Otherwise we would not be doing everything possible to prepare the best way.”
Wooden emphasized to his players that winning wasn’t their objective. Their goal every season was to play to the best of their abilities. In order to do this, coach emphasized that success lies in the details. Wooden not only led his players on the basketball court but also off the court. His lessons transcend the basketball court and can be applied to ones life or ones business. Here are some that stand out.
Adversity Produces Unexpected Opportunity
“Adversity often produces the unexpected opportunity. Look for it. Appreciate it and utilize it. This is difficult to do if you’re feeling sorry for yourself because you’re faced with adversity.”
Even the bad things that happen to us can still be there to help us. When presented with an obstacle always pause and see what other options there may be to overcome, success lies in the details.
Once Opportunity Arrives, It’s Too Late To Prepare
“The time to prepare isn’t after you’ve been given the opportunity. It’s long before that opportunity arises. Once the opportunity arrives, it’s too late to prepare.”
You need to be ready long before the opportunity arrives. So only when you prepare yourself will the opportunity even be within your grasp. Prepare yourself, physically, mentally, spiritually, intellectually and then jump on the opportunity when it presents itself.
Mind The Details
“But it all began with attention to, and perfection of details. Details. Details.”
Planning ahead and imagining worse-case-scenarios has proven to be very effective in being prepared for them. It is not a negative thing to anticipate bad things happening it is just plainly thinking ahead and preparing for the worst to happen. Most likely that bad thing won’t happen, but if it does, then you’ve thought about it and done some prep work and that alone will help you successfully overcome the bad point when they do happen, because let’s face it, shit happens.
Make The Best Of Things
“I also believe that things turn out best for those who make the best of the way things turn out.”
Bad things happen to us but the most powerful realization is that yes a bad thing(s) may have happened to you but the real power lies in how your react to it. You have the choice to focus your thoughts on the upside or downside to any situation; keyword here is CHOICE. Choose to focus positively on something and other positives will follow. Always strive to do your best, that is all you can do.
“You never fail if you know in your heart that you did the best of which you are capable of. I did my best. That is all that I could do.”